All Recipes/ Appetizers/ Everyday Meals/ Latest Posts/ Salads/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Raw Fennel Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

March 19, 2024 (Last Updated: April 26, 2024)

With its subtle anise flavor and crispy texture, fennel takes center stage in this delightful salad, perfectly complemented by a honey-mustard vinaigrette.

This side dish showcases just one of the many ways to incorporate this nutritious, low-carbohydrate, and low-calorie vegetable into your meals.

Whether paired with eggs, various types of meat, chicken, or fish or featured as part of a special feast, this simple fennel salad will surely upgrade the flavor and nutrient profile of any meal.

What is Fennel?

Fennel is a lectin-free vegetable in the carrot family. When eaten raw, it has a gentle licorice taste and a crisp texture. This bulb is also known for its anti-histamine properties, which makes it a great addition to a low-histamine diet.

Fennel is nutrient-rich, offering vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, and other essential micronutrients while being low in calories. Its ample fiber content—both soluble and insoluble—also promotes gut health.

Fennel is a staple in my kitchen, alongside the classic mirepoix trio of onion, carrot, and celery. To me, a fennel bulb is essential for enhancing soups and stews that start with a mirepoix. You will find fennel as an ingredient in most of my soup and stew recipes.

But fennel’s true charm shines when it’s enjoyed raw, offering a refreshing change from the classic green or tomato- and cucumber-based salads. Its mild anise flavor might not be everyone’s favorite, but if you’re a fan, you’re in for a delightful experience.

Two raw fennel bulbs. One of them is cut in halves.

Preparing Fennel for Salad

If you’re new to fennel, its appearance might seem daunting.

To prepare fennel for a salad, start by thoroughly washing the fresh fennel bulb and removing the stems, which can be reserved for sauces or soups. Avoid bulbs with dark spots; if present, peel away the outer layer with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, or simply remove the entire layer and save it for soups or stocks. Always choose a fresh, undamaged bulb for raw dishes.

Cut the fennel bulb in half, then into quarters, removing the fibrous core at the center. This not only discards the tough part but also allows the leaves to separate, enhancing the salad’s texture—though this is just my personal preference.

Thinly slice the fennel with a sharp knife or, for ease, a mandolin. This cutting method is also called shaving. To prevent browning and crisping the fennel, soak the slices in very cold water, adding ice if necessary. Before mixing with the other ingredients, drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.

whole fennel bulb and sectioned fennel bulb

Ingredients to Make a Raw Fennel Salad

For the salad:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb (about 300 grams)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh dill or fennel fronds (for garnish)

For the Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon local raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (raw)
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • zest of one organic lime (or you can use orange)

How to Make Fennel Salad

  • Begin by thoroughly washing the fennel bulb. Trim off the stalks and remove any tough outer layers. Reserve some of the fronds for garnishing the salad later.
  • Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise, then in quarters. Remove the core fibrous core that holds the layers together, then slice each quarter into thin strips to create delicate pieces. Alternatively, you can use a mandolin. Place these strips in a large mixing bowl and cover them with cold or iced water to enhance their crispness.
Fennel sliced into thin strips on a cutting board.

  • Combine the mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and the lemon zest and lime zest (or orange, if preferred) in a small jar. Secure the lid tightly and shake the jar until the mixture is well-emulsified and smooth.
  • Drain the fennel slices and pat them dry with a towel. Transfer the fennel back to a dry mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, according to taste, and toss well to distribute.
raw fennel salad in a bowl

  • Pour the honey-mustard vinaigrette over the seasoned fennel. Toss everything together to ensure the fennel is evenly coated with the dressing. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Remember, the right amount of salt is key to achieving that perfect briny, pickled flavor.
  • Place the dressed salad onto a serving dish. Add a final touch with fresh dill or the reserved fennel fronds for garnish.
raw fennel salad in a bowl

How to Serve Raw Fennel Salad

This salad is great served immediately as a vibrant side dish alongside eggs, various meats, chicken, or fish, or as part of a special feast. It can be a wonderful crispy addition to a diversity bowl (or Buddha bowl).

If needed, it can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few hours until mealtime. While in this case, the salad’s appearance might lose some of its vibrancy, the fennel stays crispy, and its flavors intensify.

Either way, it’s delicious! So don’t worry if you need to prepare this salad in advance or have leftovers.

Raw fennel salad served in a small bowl

Upgrade the nutrient profile and flavor of any meal with this crispy and flavorful shaved fennel salad with honey-mustard vinaigrette.

More Fennel Recipes

I use fennel often in my recipes, both on this website and in my cookbooks. These are some of my favorite recipes:

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Raw Fennel Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...
By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes

With its subtle anise flavor and crispy texture, fennel takes center stage in this delightful salad, perfectly complemented by a honey-mustard vinaigrette. This side dish showcases just one of the many ways to incorporate this nutritious, low-carbohydrate, and low-calorie vegetable into your meals. Whether paired with eggs, various types of meat, chicken, or fish or featured as part of a special feast, this simple fennel salad will surely upgrade the flavor and nutrient profile of any meal.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (about 300 grams)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh dill or fennel fronds, for garnish
  • FOR THE HONEY-MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon local raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (raw)
  • Zest of one organic lemon
  • Zest of one organic lime (or orange, if preferred)

Instructions

1

Begin by thoroughly washing the fennel bulb. Trim off the stalks and remove any tough outer layers. Reserve some of the fronds for garnishing the salad later.

2

Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise, then in quarters. Remove the core fibrous core that hold the layers together, then slice each quarter into thin strips to create delicate pieces. Alternatively, you can use a mandolin. Place these strips in a large mixing bowl and cover them with cold or iced water to enhance their crispness.

3

Combine the mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and the zests of lemon and lime (or orange, if preferred) in a small jar. Secure the lid tightly and shake the jar until the mixture is well emulsified and smooth.

4

Drain the fennel slices and pat them dry with a towel. Transfer the fennel back to a dry mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, according to taste, and toss well to distribute.

5

Pour the honey-mustard vinaigrette over the seasoned fennel. Toss everything together to ensure the fennel is evenly coated with the dressing. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Remember, the right amount of salt is key to achieving that perfect briny, pickled flavor.

6

Place the dressed salad onto a serving dish. Add a final touch with fresh dill or the reserved fennel fronds for garnish.

7

This salad is best served immediately as a vibrant side dish alongside eggs, various meats, chicken, or fish, or as part of a special feast. If needed, it can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few hours until mealtime. While the flavors will intensify - in a good way! - the appearance might lose some of its initial vibrancy. The fennel stays crispy, so don't worry if you have leftovers, they'll be a great addition to your breakfast.

Notes

One medium bulb (of about 300 grams), can yield about two generous side dish portions. If there are more sides, it can serve up to 4 people.

Gundry MD Ambassador Shop

Stock a gut-healthy pantry

No Comments

Leave a Reply